Mirror Frame thumbnail 1
Mirror Frame thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery

Mirror Frame

1490-1510 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This fascinating object would have originally held a small convex mirror of glass or polished steel.
The moulding and painting are beautifully executed and, even though the space for the mirror is rather small, it was certainly meant to be used by the presumably female owner and might have been commissioned in connection with marriage.
The inscription painted on this mirror frame refers to a real woman's name 'Isoretta', but it shows a portrait of an ideal beauty, a young and beautiful blond lady with elaborate headdress and refined jewellery. The object might have had a metaphoric meaning as if the reflected image of the viewer will mirror the ideal beauty and virtue depicted on the frame.

In the V&A there is a very similar mirror frame attributed by the Sienese artist Neroccio di Bartolomeo de' Landi, made of painted and gilded papier-mâche (Museum no. 850-1884). Although the latter object is bigger than the maiolica mirror frame the mould might have been copied from a sculptural prototype made in the workshop of a sculptor or painter.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Tin-glazed earthenware
Brief Description
Mirror frame, almond shaped, depicts bust of lady in relief, tin-glazed earthenware painted in colours, made in Montelupo, about 1500-10
Physical Description
Tin-glazed earthenware plaque. Decorated with the image of a young blonde woman, her arms folded on her chest.
Dimensions
  • Height: 37.5cm
  • Width: 29cm
  • Depth: 4cm
  • Weight: 1.94kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries
Marks and Inscriptions
'ISORETTA GALANTE' (Painted in blue)
Gallery Label
Mirror frame Made in Montelupo, Italy about 1500-10 Inscription: 'ISORETTA GALANTE', painted in blue Tin-glazed earthenware C.2111-1910 Salting Bequest(16/07/2008)
Credit line
Bequeathed by George Salting, Esq.
Production
Kiln waist fragments of the shape and size of this mirror frame have been recently found in Montelupo and indicate that such mirror frames where produced locally.
Summary
This fascinating object would have originally held a small convex mirror of glass or polished steel.

The moulding and painting are beautifully executed and, even though the space for the mirror is rather small, it was certainly meant to be used by the presumably female owner and might have been commissioned in connection with marriage.

The inscription painted on this mirror frame refers to a real woman's name 'Isoretta', but it shows a portrait of an ideal beauty, a young and beautiful blond lady with elaborate headdress and refined jewellery. The object might have had a metaphoric meaning as if the reflected image of the viewer will mirror the ideal beauty and virtue depicted on the frame.



In the V&A there is a very similar mirror frame attributed by the Sienese artist Neroccio di Bartolomeo de' Landi, made of painted and gilded papier-mâche (Museum no. 850-1884). Although the latter object is bigger than the maiolica mirror frame the mould might have been copied from a sculptural prototype made in the workshop of a sculptor or painter.
Bibliographic References
  • Berti, F. Capolavori della maiolica rinascimentale: Montelupo "fabbrica" di Firenze 1400-1600. Florence, 2002. Cat 62, pp.264-269. Catalogue of the exhibition held at Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence.
  • Pope-Hennessy, J. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London, 1964. Vol I, pp.270-271. Vol.II, 179 p., catalogue entry 285.
  • Berti, Fausti. Storia della ceramica di Montelupo. Vol.III. Montelupo, 1999. pp.183-185, 372-373, tav.324-327.
  • Rackham, Bernard. Catalogue of Italian Maiolica, London : H.M.S.O., 1977
Other Number
351 - Rackham (1977)
Collection
Accession Number
C.2111-1910

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record createdJuly 16, 2008
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